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2021 A Busy Year for Surgical Smoke Evacuation Legislation

Publish Date: December 8, 2021

AORN government affairs staff and members across the country were busy in 2021 advocating for surgical smoke evacuation bills to ensure a safe workplace for OR staff and patients.

In the most successful legislative year to date, surgical smoke evacuation legislation was enacted in three states: Kentucky (March), Oregon (June), and Illinois (August). Kentucky and Illinois laws go into effect on January 1, 2022, while Oregon’s law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

In addition to those three states, surgical smoke evacuation legislation was introduced in Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The bills in Georgia, Iowa and Pennsylvania will carry over into 2022.

Looking ahead to the 2022 legislative sessions, AORN expects the following state legislatures to consider surgical smoke evacuation legislation, in addition to those states with bills carrying over from 2021: Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington. There will be challenges to legislative success, including the ongoing pandemic and the 2022 elections.

Want to get more involved in AORN’s advocacy efforts? Join the monthly National Legislative Forum calls held on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. MT. These calls are an opportunity to share updates and hear from fellow AORN members across the country about the policy issues, challenges, and successes they are having in their own states. The first NLF call of 2022 will be held on January 17.